Probation violators appear in court

Published 9:55 am Monday, December 15, 2008

A Proctorville man who failed a drug test and a Friendship man who was accused of stealing copper from a local industry were among those making appearances last week in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court.

Jeffrey S. Leffingwell, 22, of 182 Township Road 1161, Proctorville, was in court to answer an allegation that he violated his probation, or community controlled sanctions (CCS). He denied the allegation through his attorney, Philip Heald, and asked to remain free on an own recognizance (OR) bond pending an outcome of the matter.

“He was incarcerated but he was released for medical reasons,” Heald said. “He has shown up on his own and we ask that he be allowed to remain out.”

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Assistant Lawrence County Prosecutor Jeff Smith wanted to have Leffingwell drug tested before agreeing to bond.

“Test him now, if he passes, he’s out, if not, he’s in,” Smith said.

Leffingwell agreed to the test but first asked Judge D. Scott Bowling if marijuana he used a few weeks ago would show up in the test. He also mentioned he is using prescription Loratab, a narcotic painkiller.

Bowling agreed to a $10,000 OR bond if Leffingwell tested clean or $10,000 cash if he tested positive. He tested positive.

Lawrence County Chief Probation Officer Carl Bowen said the test was positive for both marijuana and drugs other than Loratab. Leffingwell must return for a CCS trial Dec. 17.

Also last week, Stephanie Burchett, 25, of Lucasville, was arraigned a CCS violation. She was on probation for an earlier drug conviction and is accused of not reporting to her probation officer as required. She denied the allegation through her attorney, Gene Meadows.

“On Feb. 8 a warrant was issued for her but we were unable to contact her,” Assistant Lawrence County Prosecutor Brigham Anderson explained. “Mr. Meadows did approach her a couple of weeks ago and ask her to present herself in court. We do intend to file a request this week to have her bond revoked.” Anderson also said Burchett has an outstanding warrant in Scioto County, though Burchett seemed surprised when she heard this.

Judge Charles Cooper set a probation violation trial for Jan. 7 and allowed Burchett to post a $25,000 OR bond so long as she agrees to GPS monitoring while she is free.

In another matter, Israel Brady, 29, of Friendship, pleaded guilty to one count of receiving stolen property. He was accused of stealing a copper tuyere from AK Steel in Ashland, Ky., and bringing it to Lawrence County. Assistant Lawrence County Prosecutor Jeff Smith said he is facing additional charges in Kentucky in connection with this incident.

According to the American Heritage Dictionary, a tuyere is “the pipe, nozzle, or other opening through which air is forced into a blast furnace or forge to facilitate combustion.”

Cooper accepted the guilty plea but postponed sentencing pending the outcome of a pre-sentence investigation and pending Brady’s sentencing in Kentucky.